Strong day for Strong Play at Macau Poker Cup Championship

Day 1a of the 2010 Macau Poker Cup Championship is in the books with 60 players surviving six levels of play to reach day two action. There were patches of the aggressive play that we have come to expect from players in this region, but the eliminations were slow early on as the players enjoyed the freedom that the 20,000-chip start banks and one hour levels provided.

Headlining the field was five-time WSOP bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro, who didn't waste any time in accumulating a big stack after his set of tens was check-raised on the river. Lisandro was happy to call and accept the double up and from there he cruised through the day's play to finish strong with 47,775 chips.


Five-time WSOP bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro was just one of the stars in action on Day 1a of the Macau Poker Cup Championship

The day wasn't so smooth for several high profile players including David Steicke, Jackie Glazier, Daniel Neilson and in particular Matthew Pearson who was crippled by Raymond Wu who caught good with his ace-jack against Pearson's pocket jacks. It was the highlight of a slow day for the PokerStars Team Asia Pro, as Wu managed to survive the day with just 14,450 in chips.


A rough day on the felt for PokerStars Team Asia Pro Raymond Wu

Also struggling was fellow PokerStars Team Asia Pro Celina Lin. The Asian poker queen was dented very early and couldn't get much going until a very late double up with ace-king versus pocket jacks saw her reach day two with just 8,150 in chips.

At the other end of the spectrum Roger Spets, Dan Smith and particularly Tony Dunst were in control for most of the day. Dunst held the chip lead throughout before being overtaken in the final stages by Australian gun Joel "Strong Play" Dodds.


End of Day 1a chip leader, Joel "Strong Play" Dodds

The professional pro from Sydney got his day going when he held ace-king and extracted three streets of value from his opponent on a king-high board. A late flurry in the final minutes of play moved Dodds over the century as he bagged up 101,975 in chips - good for the chip lead ahead of Dunst (80,800) and Smith (71,975). Japan's Mayumi Kaneko (69,325) and Gordon Huntly (60,650) round out the top five.

Other notables to survive the day's play include Nathanael Seet (57,900), Jonathan Karamalikis (54,300), PokerStars sponsored Peter Wang (47,800), Leo Boxell (43,125), Julian Powell (43,125), Ivan Tan (42,350), defending MPCC champ Devan Tang (38,150), Kristian Lunardi (30,500), Andrew Hinrichsen (27,000), Steve Leonard (21,625), Macau Million champ Justin Chan (16,650) and PokerStars sponsored Shao-me Yang (16,000).

Day 1b should see another stellar lineup including PokerStars Team Asia Pros Bryan Huang and Tae Joon Noh, ANZPT Player of the Year Tony Hachem, 2009 APPT Sydney champion Aaron Benton and of course 2005 World Champion Joe Hachem.

All the action kicks off at 2:10pm local time (GMT+8) and we look forward to your company once again!